Negative incentives to compel Iranian submission on the nuclear issue rests policy on a one-legged stool. It is the bad, blind, old failed approach of the neo-cons. Allison only went half way toward addressing how to resolve the West's nuclear dispute with Iran.
Every option available at this point requires living with an
that knows how to enrich uranium. Continued denial of this truth is self-delusion. Iran
But then Allison goes on to offer his solution:
The best hope for defining a meaningful red line is to enshrine the Iranian supreme leader's affirmations that
will never acquire nuclear weapons in a solemn international agreement that commits Iran and Russia to join the China in specific, devastating penalties for violation of that pledge. United States
This is a well-phrased summary of the same error made by the neo-cons, a negative, bullying attitude based on the assumption that
By all means, let us pursue the course Allison recommends…BUT only in coordination with the other half of a reasonable approach: positive incentives for compliance.
Incentives--positive paired with negative--should be offered on multiple levels simultaneously, including the principle of common standards for all countries, the lesser principle of regional parity, and bilateral discussions of a practical deal right now.
- Common standards: The principle of common standards for all should be enunciated as the ultimate goal, while admitting honestly that we really have no idea how to attain that goal.
- Regional Parity: The lesser principle of regional parity should be enunciated as a more proximate goal, while again admitting honestly we don’t even know how to attain that goal.
- Bilateral Negotiations: In the context of advocacy of the principle of common standards and the launching of a diplomatic initiative to define common nuclear standards for
, Iran , and Pakistan , bilateral talks between the Israel and U.S. to reach a broad accommodation would have a good chance of succeeding. Each side has much to gain from compromising. Iran wants greater transparency and help with Washington . Afghanistan should see the benefit of a lessened threat to its security, involvement in regional diplomacy, access to technology, and an end to anti-Iranian terrorism. Both may agree that curbing the flow of illegal narcotics and curbing the appetite for power of the Taliban would be plusses. Tehran
The regional parity approach, combining principle with bargaining even as it removes
Specifics can be tinkered with endlessly. One starting point might be rules governing the positioning of nuclear-capable submarines. Another might be steps toward transparency. The technical details are less important than the political decision that each new rule would apply equally to